Features and Ease of Use
Masterhost offers multiple plans for shared hosting, but features vary from plan to plan. The following are the main features you get on all plans:
- Unlimited bandwidth
- Unlimited subdomains
- Firewall protection
- Support for PHP 5.3 through 7.1
- Supports Perl and Python
I appreciate the added firewall protection for all sites, but there are a few things I would like to see as standard across all plans, including regular backups, antivirus and antispam, and free SSL certificates. Currently, these features are available only in the top plans, along with:
- Unlimited FTP access
- Cron job scheduling
- SSH access
- Unlimited MySQL databases
- One-click CMS installer
In my opinion, the one-click installer should be a feature for all plans, but it is not. All of these features could be easily added to the other plans, but it appears Masterhost wants to force you to upgrade or start at a higher plan.
If you’re a beginner, you have two options. First, you can sign up for one of their Website Builder plans. They include over 170 templates along with a large selection of plug-ins. Note that the templates are adaptive, rather than responsive designs, meaning you will have to code your mobile version separately.
Your other option is to sign up for one of the top plans and use the one-click CMS installer for WordPress or similar CMS. Experienced webmasters will be able to install their website using FTP access and cPanel.
Pricing and Support
Masterhost has a reasonably unique setup for their shared hosting. They offer four different plans, each with their own unique configurations. All plans allow for Windows or Linux hosting. Their basic plan is the Turn On! plan that offers single domain hosting with 3GB storage, a single MySQL database, and unlimited subdomains.
Their second plan is the Individual plan, and while it offers a basic configuration of 5GB storage and the ability to host five domains, these options and more are customizable. You can get up to 100GB in storage space, host up to 100 domains, and get up to 100 MySQL databases.
Their third plan is their Spacious plan which offers unlimited storage and bandwidth, unlimited databases, and more. However, there is a catch. You can only host a single domain on this plan. However, for a single domain, this is probably going to be your best option as it offers nearly unlimited options.
The last plan offered is their Free plan. That doesn’t mean free as in cost but rather free as in greater freedom to create your best site. You get the same features as the Spacious plan, but you can host up to three domains at once. While the Individual plan offers the ability to host more domains, it doesn’t offer the same featuress as the Free plan.
As mentioned earlier, there are two Website builder plans available. The Creative 1 allows for a single domain while Creative 3 allows for three websites. Both are limited in space at just 1.5 GB, so it is best suited for personal sites and small business sites that don’t require robust E-commerce features.
Note that none of these plans come with a domain and only the Spacious and Free plans offer free SSL certificates. Also, if you want email boxes and other features on the Individual plan, you will have to pay additional fees.
Masterhost offers somewhat average support. They only offer phone and email support for their hosting plans. There is a knowledge base, but it is limited. Support is not listed as 24/7, so they may only be available during standard business hours. Live chat support and a better explanation of their support hours and structure is needed.